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What is UK Senior Carer Visa and How to Apply

The Senior Carer visa is one of the UK Health and Care Worker visa routes that allow overseas nationals with a high level of social care experience and qualification to work in the UK. Senior Carer visa applicants must be sponsored as a Senior Care Worker by an employer within the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care.

Please note: as an immigration law firm, we are unable to help you to find a job in the UK. You must have a UK job offer and your employer must issue you a CoS number in order to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa. After that, we can discuss and handle your visa application.

Due to the current shortage of senior carers in the UK, the role of Senior Care Worker is now included on the UK shortage occupation list. This means that applicants for the senior care visa have a lower minimum salary requirement to meet, which is £13,520 per year (£6.67 per hour). The Senior Carer visa also provides other benefits such as:

  • Allows a stay of up to 5 years in the UK initially
  • Can be further extended
  • Lower application fees compared to the UK Skilled Worker visa
  • No requirement to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge for you or your dependants – this can lead to a saving of many thousands of pounds

Senior Carer visa requirements

To make a successful application for a Senior Carer visa , you will need to meet below eligibility requirements:

  • Be aged 18 years or over
  • Have a job offer and Certificate of Sponsorship for a senior care worker role from a UK health and care sector employer approved by the Home Office
  • Receive an annual gross salary of at least £13,520 per year (£6.67 per hour)
  • Be a qualified adult senior social care professional – you will normally require a qualification at NVQ Level 3 or equivalent
  • Have a background in social care or nursing
  • Have a criminal record background (CRB) check
  • Meet the English language requirements by:
    • Passing an approved English test at level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale
    • Having a degree level qualification taught in English, or
    • Having a school level qualification from a school, you attended before the age of 18 in the UK.
  • Have at least £1,270 in savings to support yourself

For more detailed information, visit see our guide on the UK Health and Care Worker visa.

How to apply for a Senior Carer visa

Once you have secured your job and received a Certificate of Sponsorship from your UK employer, you can apply for your Senior Carer visa. To apply, you will need to:

  • Prepare and submit the Health and Care Worker visa application form1
  • Pay the application fee of £247 per person (for up to 3 years) or £479 per person (for up to 5 years)
  • Book an appointment at your nearest visa application centre to have your fingerprints scanned and photo taken (your biometrics)
  • Upload any documents required by the Home Office, including:
    • certificate of sponsorship reference from your UK employer
    • passport
    • details of the job, including title, occupation code, annual salary, employer name, and sponsor licence number
    • evidence of sufficient savings held for at least 28 days (e.g. bank statement)
    • a criminal record certificate
    • TB test results, if requested
    • a copy of your qualifications
  • Attend your biometric appointment

You can submit your Senior Carer visa application up to 3 months before you start working in the UK, allowing you plenty of time to secure the permission needed. For most applicants, the UK Senior Carer visa processing time is 3 weeks.

Senior Care Worker visa UK duration

Depending on the length of your employment contract, it is possible to secure a Senior Care Worker visa UK for up to 5 years. You can then renew your visa as many times as you wish as long as you remain employed by your employer and you hold the same job. Alternatively, you can apply to settle after 5 continuous years in the UK (see below senior carer visa to ILR).

Senior Carer visa dependants

As a Senior Carer visa holder, you can bring your eligible dependants with you. This includes your partner/spouse and children. Their visa will typically have the same expiry date as your Senior Carer visa, and they will also be able to apply for settlement when you become eligible, assuming they have spent 5 years in the UK.

For a partner dependant visa, you and your partner must be married or in a civil partnership or have been in a relationship for at least 2 years. For a child dependant visa, if your child is 16 or over, you will need to prove they are dependant on you – i.e. they live with you (except if they attend boarding school or live away for university), are not married or in a civil partnership, and they are financially reliant on you.

For more information about dependant visas, you can check our guide PBS Dependant Visa Application

Senior Carer visa to ILR

Assuming you have stayed lawfully in the UK for 5 continuous years, you can apply for settlement in the UK (ILR). This means you are no longer subject to immigration control and can remain in the UK permanently. You can also apply for citizenship after 1 year.

To qualify for ILR, in addition to the 5 years continuous residence requirement, you must also still be with your employer in the same role, pass the Life in the UK Test and meet the English language requirement (at CEFR B1, B2, C1 or C2 level). As such, if you met the B1 level when you first applied for your Senior Carer visa, you will already meet the English language requirement for ILR.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

We specialise in helping employers and employees to apply for Health and Care work visa in the UK. Our immigration lawyers can:

  • Handle your Senior Care Worker visa application and extension
  • Deal with any queries raised by the Home Office regarding your visa application as your lawyer
  • Prepare and submit visa applications for your dependant family members (i.e. spouse and children)
  • Handle a refusal of your Senior Carer visa application
  • Your future ILR and UK citizenship application

For assistance with your UK Senior Carer visa application, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at


1 GOV.UK: Health and care worker visa online application form

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